The giant black car pulled up silently and a corpulent man stepped out.
“Your client is here,” the studio manager said and gestured towards the car park. I frowned, clearly remembering a woman’s name on the schedule.
The man walked to the other side and opened the passenger door.
“This way, Mrs. B.” We heard his voice, loud but gentle, through the windows.
A black and silver cane emerged from the vehicle. Then, a pair of designer shoes. A luxurious dark coat. A cashmere scarf. The man with the booming voice helped the senior lady out of the car and helped her towards the door.
“Hello,” she said as soon as she stepped in. “I’m here for Pilates.” She held out her hand to me, making a fist. “I have arthritis. Look.” She bent and stretched her fingers several times and grimaced.
“Nice to meet you,” I said. “Let’s get started. We can work on that.” And I led the octogenarian client over to the Pilates machines.
New to The Body Project? Check out the other articles in the series.
The Forearm Muscles
As mentioned last week, your arms are the main way you interact with the world around you. To be able to function normally and effectively, grip strength is essential.
There are two main muscle groups in the forearm: the wrist flexors and the wrist extensors, which allow the backwards and forwards movement of the wrist. They contain many little muscles which work together. Your wrist flexion is especially important, as it also helps to improve your grip strength. Two of the exercises below are designed specifically for this purpose, whereas Wrist Extension trains the opposite action. It is best to do all three so that you are strengthening your forearm in a balanced way.
I suggest starting with small weights. However, if you are using weights larger than 1kg, it is best to rest your arm on your leg or on a table instead of holding it up without support.
Lift your arms overhead and hold a bar, palms facing forwards. Lift your feet off the ground so that you are hovering. Stay for 10-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times if you can. Take care to keep your shoulders drawn down from the ears, keeping your neck long.
Sit in a comfortable position and hold a weight in your hand, palm facing up. Slowly curl your wrist upwards, then release and return to a neutral position. You can do one arm at a time or both at once.
Sit in a comfortable position and hold a weight in your hand, palm facing down. Slowly curl your wrist upwards, then release and return to a neutral position. You can do one arm at a time or both at once.
Have you ever had trouble with your forearm, wrist or grip strength? Have you ever consciously trained any of them?
This is the last Body Project article before the conclusion. Do you have any exercise or anatomy-related questions? Ask in the comments! I will be looking to cover topics directly related to readers’ interests after this project is complete.
SOURCES AND DISCLAIMER
Most of the information in this post comes from my years as a Pilates instructor. However, if you’re interested in reading more, here are some great resources:
The Muscle Book. Paul Blakey, 1992.
Trail Guide to the Body A Hands-on Guide to Locating Muscles, Bones and More. Andrew Biel, Robin Dorn, 2014.
PhysioPedia. <https://www.physio-pedia.com/> Accessed 1.7.2020.
As always, participation in these workouts is at your own risk. A Chat with Kat is not responsible for bodily injuries incurred. If in doubt, please speak to your healthcare provider and/ or contact an exercise professional before proceeding.